The Largest Solar Electric System in New England
DAYVILLE, Conn. - Furthering its commitment to Environmentally Responsible Initiatives, United Natural Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ:UNFI) along with Solar Works, Inc. and the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF), today held a dedication ceremony for the installation of the largest solar electric system in New England. The 550-kilowatt STC solar photovoltaic system from SCHOTT Solar, installed at the Company's state-of- the-art distribution facility in Dayville, CT, is expected to generate approximately 600,000 kilowatt hours of clean energy annually, enough to power more than 67 average New England homes for one year. The system output will avoid over 14 million pounds (over 6,350 metric tons) of carbon dioxide over the 25-year life of the system.
Attending the event were several Connecticut politicians including Donald E. Williams, Jr., Connecticut State Senator, John Hollay, Office of Representative Congressman Joseph D. Courtney, and Jeffrey Nelson, Director of the Eastern Office for Governor M. Jodi Rell. Also in attendance were representatives from Solar Works, CCEF and United Natural Foods.
From our very first meeting with United Natural Foods, it was very apparent that the company was committed to raising the bar for environmental stewardship in New England. They took this project seriously and worked with us in a collaborative manner at every step along the way," commented Ron French, President of Solar Works Inc. "We couldn't be more pleased with what we've accomplished together and the ongoing environmental benefit that will be derived from this project."
Timothy Bowles, Chairman of the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund Board, stated, "We applaud United Natural Foods' ongoing commitment to sustainability and providing solutions to climate change. As the largest solar installation supported by CCEF to date through the fund's On-site Renewable Distributed Generation Program, the UNFI solar array will benefit ratepayers by not only improving our environment but also reducing our demand on the electric grid at times of peak demand."
We're very pleased to partner with CCEF and Solar Works in such a worthwhile endeavor," said Michael Funk, President and Chief Executive Officer of United Natural Foods. "This project is just the latest initiative in United Natural Foods' commitment to Environmentally Responsible Initiatives, helping to create a greener environment by utilizing clean, renewable energy." In October 2007, United Natural Foods installed a one megawatt solar electric system at its natural foods distribution facility in Rocklin, CA. Combined, the two solar power systems are expected to power approximately 190 average American households for a year and reduce CO2 emissions by 854 metric tons annually.
The Dayville, CT distribution facility serves as both United Natural Foods' corporate headquarters, as well as a regional distribution center in the Company's nationwide distribution network. The facility employs more than 500 people and serves customers in both the New England and New York areas. United Natural Foods has the largest warehouse capacity of any distributor in the natural products industry and currently has more than 5.4 million square feet of space at 21 distribution centers nationwide.
About the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF)
CCEF was created by the Connecticut General Assembly and is administered by Connecticut Innovations, a quasi-public organization. CCEF promotes the development and commercialization of clean energy technologies; the creation of clean energy supply; and the demand for electricity from clean, renewable sources in Connecticut in order to strengthen Connecticut's economy, protect community health, improve the environment, and promote a secure energy supply for the state. CCEF's funding comes from a surcharge on electric ratepayers' utility bills. For more information on CCEF, please visit http://www.ctcleanenergy.com/.
About Solar Works Inc.
Solar Works, Inc. (http://www.solarworksinc.com/) is the leading solar electric systems integrator in the Northeast serving commercial, institutional and residential customers. Over the past 25 years, Solar Works has installed over 800 renewable energy systems. Solar Works has expertise in engineering design, project management, performance analysis, project financing and renewable energy credit programs. Founded in 1980, Solar Works is active in commercializing new technologies and developing renewable energy programs for both public and private sector clients.
About United Natural Foods
United Natural Foods, Inc. carries and distributes more than 40,000 products to more than 17,000 customers nationwide. The Company serves a wide variety of retail formats including conventional supermarket chains, natural product superstores, independent retail operators and the food service channel. United Natural Foods, Inc. was ranked by Forbes in 2005 as one of the "Best Managed Companies in America," ranked by Fortune in 2006 and 2007 as one of its "Most Admired Companies," and ranked by Business Ethics as one of its "100 Best Corporate Citizens for 2006."